Behind Facebook and Google’s random acquisitions — Catherine Tucker

MIT Sloan Professor Catherine Tucker

MIT Sloan Professor Catherine Tucker

From Fortune

A lot of attention has been paid lately to big tech companies buying up smaller firms in billion-dollar deals: In January, Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billionFacebook purchased mobile message service, WhatsApp, the following month for $19 billion; last week, it acquired virtual reality gaming company, Oculus VR, for $2 billion. There is a lot of discussion about the motives behind these large deals. Some say they are attempts to block competition, while others maintain they are efforts to stay relevant.

I see these deals as a reflection of the uncertainty companies face as they try to identify the next big thing. This is especially true for successful companies like Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG), which are known for doing what they do tremendously well. They’ve seen similarly successful companies like Kodak struggle as technology moves on, rendering its product obsolete. As a result, companies today are eternally motivated to look outside their current business.

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What Facebook got right with its IPO — Howard Anderson

Image credit: MarketWatch

From WSJ MarketWatch

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (MarketWatch) — A year after the Facebook IPO the media bellyaching about all the things the social media company did wrong is relentless.

“Facebook, One Year Later: What Really Happened in the Biggest IPO Flop Ever,” reads a headline in The Atlantic. “Missed out on the Facebook IPO and couldn’t be happier,” reads another on CNNMoney. And from Forbes: “Facebook Year One: Fighting Back from an IPO Flop.” Read More »

Leading Your Company’s Digital Transformation — George Westerman

From Sloan Management Review


George Westerman (MIT Center for Digital Business), interviewed by Michael Fitzgerald
October 29, 2012

Big traditional companies get overlooked when it comes to digital transformation. But companies across all industry sectors are remaking their operations, their customer interactions, and even their business models. George Westerman tells us how they’re doing it, whether they are technology champions or beginners.

Read more from MIT Sloan Management Review about Digital Transformation

George Westerman is a research scientist at the MIT Center for Digital Business

Facebook IPO and beyond: Catherine Tucker sees rich new revenue source in social advertising

MIT Sloan Assoc. Prof. Catherine Tucker

Much of the attention on Facebook’s initial public offering this week has been on whether the social networking giant is valued too highly. But whatever its current worth, Facebook has a potentially huge new source of revenue coming its way from “social advertising.” According to a new research paper I’ve just published, Facebook itself is only just beginning to realize the untapped potential of social advertising, in which marketers use online social relationships to improve ad targeting using data on Facebook users’ friend networks.

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MBA Craig Hosang answers questions about the 2012 Silicon Valley Tech Trek

Craig Hosang, MBA '13

From Thomson Reuters peHUB, January 12, 2012

An MBA on Becoming Relevant to an Industry “That’s Doing Fine Without You”

Connie Lozios

‘Tis the season for MBA students to begin looking for summer internships, and students at the MIT Sloan School of Management are no exception. In fact, just last week they took their annual “tech trek” to Silicon Valley to shake hands, flash smiles, and otherwise engage with executives at companies like Facebook, Intel, and eBay.

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